Purdue Beats Michigan 48-42 in Shootout

By · Sunday, November 2, 2008 · 8:30 PM |  Share | 12 Comments 

Inconsistency has plagued Michigan all season long, and it was more of the same against Purdue on Saturday. Although the offense put together its best performance of the season points-wise and only disappeared for one quarter, the defense was terrible the entire game.

The defense allowed a third-string quarterback to compile well over 300 yards of offense and score 4 touchdowns, and also allowed Kory Sheets to run wild for 3 touchdowns. It did ultimately take a hook and lateral (or ladder, as some call it) for Purdue to beat Michigan, but the Boilermakers deserve all the credit in the world for executing that play perfectly. The play resulted in a TD that put Purdue on top 48-42, which is what the final score of this game would be.

1st Quarter

  • Much to no one’s surprise, Michigan opened the game by going three and out.
  • On 3rd and 6, Purdue QB Justin Siller ran for 12 yards and was drilled by John Thompson. Siller fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Donovan Warren.
  • Michigan quickly capitalized on the turnover by scoring on the first and only play of the ensuing drive. Brandon Minor got the ball and ran for 45 yards and a touchdown, putting the Wolverines ahead 7-0.
  • Purdue went three and out and punted the ball away to Martavious Odoms, who made a few Boilermakers miss and was gone. Odoms took the punt back 73 yards for a touchdown that gave Michigan a 14-0 lead.
  • Needing to stop the bleeding, Purdue went down the field on its next drive and did score a touchdown. Justin Siller ran for 10 yards and completed a pass to Kory Sheets for a gain of 23 at the beginning of this drive, and then he found Joe Whitest for 16 more on 3rd and 12 a few plays later. Kory Sheets got the ball on the next three plays and eventually got into the end zone from 2 yards out to cut Michigan’s lead in half.
  • A couple of penalties doomed Michigan’s next drive and helped cause a three and out.
  • Purdue started moving the ball again but couldn’t get past the 50. Michigan’s defense came up with a big stop, but Martavious Odoms made a huge mistake on the punt. Odoms dropped the punt and a Purdue player recovered the fumble at the Michigan 14-yard line. The mistake was nothing new for Michigan considering how many special teams fumbles have happened before, but this one was especially devastating.
  • Justin Siller ran for 10 yards and a touchdown only two plays after the Odoms fumble to tie the game up at 14.
  • Boubacar Cissoko returned the proceeding kickoff 53 yards, giving Michigan’s offense great field position. The Wolverines moved all the way down to the Purdue 22-yard line before the first quarter came to an end.

2nd Quarter

  • Michigan had 3rd and goal from the 11, and Steven Threet completed a pass to LaTerryal Savoy in the end zone for a huge touchdown. The Wolverines again led, this time by a score of 21-14.
  • The two teams traded punts for the next few possessions before Michigan scored another long touchdown. After a 20-yard punt by Purdue gave Michigan great field position, the Wolverines struck quickly. Darryl Stonum caught a pass and broke a tackle to have nothing but green in front of him. Stonum took off and scored from 51 yards out altogether, giving Michigan another 2-touchdown lead.
  • Just as we saw earlier in this game, Purdue woke up and started playing well again when they went down by 14 points. This time around the Boilermakers moved down the field thanks to a combination of things. Kory Sheets started the drive with three runs that combined for 30 yards. Justin Siller then completed a pass to Greg Orton for 10 yards, and Michigan gave Purdue 20 free yards as a result of a pass interference penalty and Tim Jamison jumping offside. Siller went back to the air for gains of 13 and 8 yards before Sheets capped off the drive with a 3-yard TD run.
  • After Steven Threet was sacked and fumbled the ball, Michigan just let the clock run out. David Moosman recovered the fumble, but there was too big of a risk to try anything fancy. For that reason, Michigan decided to let the first half come to an end.

3rd Quarter

  • Purdue opened the second half with another touchdown drive. Siller set up the eventual TD with passes to Greg Orton that went for 10 and 35 yards. Shortly after the big passes it was 3rd and goal from the 7, and Siller found Sheets out of the backfield for the touchdown. This game was tied once again.
  • Michigan had to punt after failing to pick up a first down following a 21-yard run by Brandon Minor. U-M would get the ball back after its defense finally was able to stop Purdue, but the Boilermakers downed their punt at the 1-yard line. All Michigan could do was run the ball, which resulted in a three and out.
  • With outstanding field position, it wasn’t too tough for Purdue to find the end zone again. A combination of Siller and Sheets was all Purdue needed to move down the field, and the drive ultimately ended on a 5-yard Sheets TD run that gave the Boilermakers their first lead of the game.

4th Quarter

  • Michigan started the fourth quarter with a quick touchdown drive to tie things back up. A 45-yard kick return by Martavious Odoms ended the third quarter and gave Michigan a short field to work with. Brandon Minor made that field even shorter with runs of 9 and 11 yards. Michael Shaw came into the game and picked up 2 yards before Steven Threet pitched the ball to Toney Clemons for a gain of 8. Minor got the ball back on the very next play and ran into the end zone from 12 yards out for the TD, tying things back up.
  • Purdue and Michigan both went three and out on the next two drives before the entire dynamic of this game changed. The Boilermakers did actually go three and out again, but Purdue faked a punt on 4th and 8. The snap went to linebacker Anthony Heygood instead of the punter, and Heygood took off for 61 yards. A few plays later it was 3rd and goal from the 4, and Justin Siller completed a pass to Greg Orton for the touchdown. The score put Purdue on top 42-35.
  • The Wolverines needed to score a touchdown on their next drive since it was doubtful that the defense could come up with another stop. Knowing that there may not be another chance to tie the game, Michigan went for it on 4th and 5 at the 50. Threet completed a pass to Stonum for 10 yards to move the chains. Purdue would actually keep the drive alive for Michigan a few plays later, as Gerald Gooden got flagged for roughing the passer. He nailed Threet well after the pass was thrown, and instead of it being 4th and 14, Michigan got an automatic first down.

    Following a 13-yard run by Threet, Michigan had trouble moving the ball and was faced with 4th and 10. A pass intended for Greg Mathews was incomplete, but a flag once again kept Michigan’s offense out on the field. A Purdue defender got called for pass interference, and although it looked like a weak call from one angle, I was glad a flag was thrown. Brandon Minor scored three plays later from 1 yard out to tie the game at 42.

  • With 1:20 left in the game, I could sense that Purdue was going to score. I figured they would go down the field and kick a field goal as the game ended, but I never would have imagined what actually happened. Siller completed passes for 18 and 20 yards to put Purdue in Michigan territory. Following a 3-yard run by Siller, the unthinkable happened.

    Siller completed a pass to Greg Orton, who proceeded to lateral the ball to Desmond Tardy. Tardy was sprinting across the field when he got the pitch and was able to run 28 yards into the end zone untouched. The hook and lateral gave Purdue a 48-42 lead (the extra point was blocked) with only 26 seconds remaining.

  • Purdue squibbed the ensuing kickoff, and Michigan got the ball at its own 35. Steven Threet took a sack to start the drive but made up for it a bit by completing two passes to Greg Mathews for gains of 11 and 14 yards. The completions put Michigan at Purdue’s 47-yard line with 4 seconds left, meaning the only hope remaining was for a Hail Mary to produce a touchdown. Threet heaved the ball downfield, and it was knocked down in the end zone, clinching Purdue’s 48-42 victory.

To say this game was disappointing would be an understatement. Not only did Michigan lose at the hands of a third-string quarterback, but they got beat on a hook and lateral. On top of that, this loss was Michigan’s seventh of the season, meaning they are guaranteed a losing season. The bowl streak is now over, as is the winning seasons streak that dated back to 1968. To make matters even worse, Michigan has to win out to prevent this from being the losingest season ever in the program’s history.

Although things can and probably will get much worse this season, Saturday was really as close to rock bottom as it can get for the defense. They gave up 522 total yards to an offense that was led by a third-string QB. And it’s not even like Purdue did anything special. Justin Siller had a very limited playbook to work with, yet everything he did was successful.

The defense switched to a 3-3-5 stack for this game and that only made things worse. It’s pretty clear that Scott Shafer has lost control of Michigan’s defense based on the switch to a 3-3-5 alone. He hasn’t necessarily been thrown under the bus publicly, but the fact that the defense’s base against Purdue was something Shafer never usually runs is very telling. Rich Rodriguez has obviously had a say in the overall scheme of the defense to an extent, leading me to believe that Shafer is on his way out. My guess is that he will not be back next year, and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he was fired before the end of the season. Things are that bad right now.

Michigan will attempt to pick up a win at Minnesota next Saturday in the battle for the Little Brown Jug. The Golden Gophers are coming off a devastating loss to Northwestern, so hopefully they will still have that on their minds on Saturday. Kickoff at the Metrodome is set for noon ET on ESPN.


  1. The One that use to post says:

    one question..if your assumption that RR forced Shafer to go to the 3-3-5, then why is it Shafer’s fault and you wanting him fired? I honestly do not know who is at fault but when your guys can’t tackle (and haven’t been able to all season) I have to say it goes beyond coaching and is an issue of bad players who can’t be coached.

  2. Sean says:

    Even though he may not have wanted to go to the 3-3-5, it’s still Shafer’s fault for the players being out of position all the time, and the defense has been horrible even before that. Shafer isn’t alone. Blame obviously goes to the head coach as well, especially since a couple of the defensive coaches should probably be fired. Rodriguez hired them and I do blame him for that. Some of his buddies from WV need to go.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The defense was bad last year. Poor tackling,poor angles, out of place and not getting off blocks didn’t just start happening. These players have been bad for two different coaching staffs. That being said, these players are probably better than 5 of the defenses that purdue lost to. Players and coaches are to blame… you just can’t fire the players.

  4. NorCalWolverine says:

    That being said, these players are probably better than 5 of the defenses that purdue lost to.

    What do you mean? Are you trying to say that Michigan’s players are better than Ohio State’s and Penn State’s defense? That makes no sense.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am so sick of Rich Rodriguez and his excuses. It is getting very old very fast. The offense is getting better, we can see that. The defense – sucks. Schafer needs to go and Rich Rodriguez needs to stop being a stubborn little bitch and admit he made some mistakes in the transition. He made some mistakes in trying to get out of a contract he signed. He made some mistakes not trying to keep Ryan Mallett and not trying to adjust his system to the talent we have. He has made alot of mistakes and it seems he has too much pride to own up to them. I only wish I was in the media at his press conferences so I could rip into him just like Rob Parker does to Rod Marinelli after Lions games.

  6. Voice of Reason says:

    It looks like the wheels are coming off of the bus, and the Michigan faithful are panicking over this season. We all knew that things were going to be rough this year, maybe not this rough but we had an inkling.

    We believed that the defense would be the strength of this team, and it is, but we’ve learned that it’s not very strong. The defense was exposed last year when it had problems tackling and covering. We couldn’t stop a division 1-AA school from scoring over 30 points, and we couldnt’ stop Oregon who moved at will. It was because Michigan won more games last year, that we never really looked closer at the defense, but it was average at best. Now we’ve brought in a new D-Coordinator with a new system and we’re blaming the coordinator. Right!!!

    Schafer didn’t cause these problems. He’s run a successful defense everywhere he’s been, primarily because they already knew how to block, cover and tackle. Now he is trying to teach them to do the same thing here, when they should have already known how to before they ever hit the field.

    As bad as this year has been, you cannot fire anyone now. You have to give RR and SS at least time to coach their own recruits. RR told us before the season started that he and his staff was trying to teach this team their “fundamentals.” Even during the bye week he was working on their fundamentals with them. They never learned it under the previous administration. Therefore, this year is the learning year.

    Offensively this team has “somewhat” improved since the beginning of the year. This maybe the breakout game for the offense. We’ve established a ground game with Brandon Minor which helps the passing game. Even the Special Team made some noise. Now that we know there will be no bowl game this year, they can officially view the rest of the season as training and preparation for next season.

    Don’t panic, things will get better.


  7. Anonymous says:

    First of all, Shafer is an up and coming guy not an established. The phrase “he has succeeded everywhere” cannot be applied to him as it has been applied to a Rrod,Meyer, Pelini, Muschamps etc to give a few examples on both sides of the ball. He turned around WMU and that’s a good achievement, he made Stan a sack leader in a pass happy league. so he is not gonna get a long rope if shit falls apart as it has happened now.

    Also, according to Scout insiders (maizeman,Coach Bt) the 3-3-5 stack is gonna be permanent. This speaks of a loss of faith in the DC by Rod. Also the rest of the staff are not adept at dealing with his schemes, he was hired last and had to work with the staff in place, dunno what the dynamics is in the staff room. What seems obvious is a lack of direction on D, and if there are these differences then no amount of time will help, unless we get some studs who can play immediately.

    Plus, Trent and Warren weren’t bad tacklers last year, yet now they have regressed. Harrison is now falling apart..this is not due to players not being good or something, as some have claimed, it is just them losing confidence.

    And it was the staff that thrust a Mike LB(thomspson) at SAm and a SAM (Ezeh) at Mike, so its their problem to fix.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Don’t be so short-sighted. We have a lot of freshmen playing and getting experience. Boobie got burned a couple of times but also made a great play swatting a pass away. What is obvious is that there is a lot of experimentation going on with personnel and schemes. We all need to look at it as the coaches and players do. Listen to/read their comments. None of them has given up and we can’t either. Get over being embarrased and look to the future. Thompson (or one of the otehr LBs) commented that the 3-3-5 was new to them and they need to adapt to it. Point is we have a lot of young players getting some great experience for the future and it will pay off big. I really hoped we would be 7-5 or 6-6, but now that doesn’t matter. Look at Minnesota, even the Domers; getting the right personnel will make a huge difference by 2010 (next year will be , eh). It’s alarming where some fans have regressed to as far as calling for firings already. That mentality is uncalled for. Stick it out; and it will be interesting to see where those same fans are when the swing happens.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe the amount of rationality being displayed this morning. FINALLY! The season was lost before it started. Next year is lost as well – although the panick attacks will continue from the student body. I have a theory. Students tend to be the most vocal becasue, at most, they only have 4 years to watch UM football live (since most kids will graduate and move to a state with a better job market). If you’re a sophomore or junior at UM, the clock is ticking – they don’t HAVE the time to be “patient”. Others, myslef included, have been rooting for UM football for the past 30 years. With that perspective, what’s the big deal with a 2-3 year trasnition IF it’s in the best interests of UM football. Perhaps I would feel different if I were currently enrolled at UM. Perhaps I’d be more aggressive in calling for firings or whatever. But I expected 2 really bad seasons the minute we hired Coach Rod. This season has been one, next season will be the 2nd. Starting in the 3rd year, we should see results. By then, he’ll have his recruits and we’ll see if he’s as successful at UM as he was at both WV and Clemson (as OC). I bet he will.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Anytime you implement a d-scheme like the 3-3-5 stack in the middle of the season when it's not your D-coordinator's forte, and your team hasn't used it before because they don't know it, it's a sign of panic and you cannot blame Schafer if it's RR's decision.

    I do agree with you that SS coming in with a staff already assembled is worthy of consideration as a possible contributor. No matter what, the players still have to execute on the field. Players don't get worse (age & health not withstanding), they play worse if their heads are not in the game. If they were ever able to execute the basics last year, then they should be showing it now, but they aren't.

    This defense is what it is…and they are playing up to their current talent level. Average!!! As the saying goes…"You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh-t." Then when you combine that with the fact that they've been on the field more than the offense game in and game out, is it's a wonder why this mediocre defense has worn down?

    I do believe that it's possible that the D-staff has to get itself together, but you don't fire them at this stage of their tenure.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Rivals has released the offical updated depth chart for the football team. It’s still a young team with a lot of promise.


  12. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think giving up almost 31ppg and 393yrdpg is average, its more like abysmal. I don’ think this D is that bad!

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